Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Han Solo Costume: Making the Vest (1)

After I finished the pants, I started working on the Han Solo vest. But, with my schedule, I couldn't work on it for a few days. So, over the holiday weekend, I finished up the mockup that was languishing on my dress dummy.

Many cosplayers have made this item. Some are using the Falcon jacket pattern and it looks like you can purchase one from Magnoli for a not-cheap sum. However, as I had made a 'cargo' vest previously (my Melinda May vest), I just decided to use this pattern as base (as the two vests are "close enough").

There are some differences -- the Han Solo vest has a yoke for the front & back and no collar. (Actually, the Melinda May vest also has a back yoke -- I saw screencaps of the back AFTER I made the vest...go figure.)

So, I redrafted the vest to include the yokes and appropriate seam allowances. Then I took a pencil to sketch out where all of the pockets should be located (vs. actual Han Solo's vest) along with the appropriate proportions for MY body.  It took me several attempts to get the right size pocket for each section, as they are ALL different sizes!!! Then I took a black sharpie marker once I was happy with the look.

Here's the back with a the loops and back pocket sketched out along with the comparison photo.

Once I had the outlines I wanted, I took the measuring tape and took the relative dimensions for each pocket loops. Each of the pockets are "accordion pockets", which means that they expand outwards. (In some screenshots from "A New Hope", you see that some of the pockets are slightly expanded, due to either the way Han Solo is standing or he has something in the pocket.)

Also, Aimee Major was kind enough to create a zip file with photos of the Han Solo vest with a write-up from an archived thread of the Rebel Legion forums. It was extremely helpful while making my vest, and I referred to it constantly. 

I started experimenting with different pocket "depths" for the accordion pocket to see what would work best for me in different places. Unlike Harrison Ford, I have boobs and a very deep accordion pocket wouldn't work for the topmost pockets.

For the top pockets, I used a 1/2" (1.587 cm) depth, but for the bottom and back pocket, I opted for a 3/4 inch (1.9cm) deep pocket. (Here's a decent tutorial on how to make accordion pockets.)

Here's the pockets with various sized pockets
so I could get a feel for what would be a good depth.

Using a similar technique for the loops, I played around with different depths for how "deep" I wanted the loops.

I'm fairly happy with how the mockup looks, so I can start working with the black twill fashion fabric. Also, with this new "base" pattern, I'll probably re-work the Melinda May vest to be more fitted after I finish up Han Solo using THIS as the base pattern. :-)